Virginia Tech® home

Jonathan Auguste

Associate Professor
  • Arbovirology


  • 2011 - 2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA

Research Advisor: Dr. Scott C. Weaver

  • 2007 - 2011 Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics, University of the West Indies, Trinidad

Graduate Thesis Advisor: Prof. Christine V. Carrington

  • 2003 - 2006 B.Sc. in Biochemistry with Biotechnology, University of the West Indies, Trinidad

Work Experience

  • 2023 - Present Co-Director of the Infectious Disease Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA.
  • 2023 - Present Associate Professor of Arbovirology, Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA.
  • 2021 - Present Faculty Senate Representative for the Dept of Entomology (elected).
  • 2018 – Present Director of BSL3/ACL3 Laboratories, Fralin Life Sciences Institute, Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) (Virginia Tech).
  • 2017 - 2023 Assistant Professor of Arbovirology, Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA.
  • 2016 – 2017 Assistant Professor of Arbovirology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston, TX.
  • 2011 – 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston, TX. 

Research Mission

My research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary factors that influence the emergence of RNA viruses, as well as the development and evaluation of novel intervention strategies for emerging viruses. My work on characterizing novel viruses has led to significant advancements in understanding viral diversity, host range, and structural characteristics of several families. I have also worked on developing novel interventions for RNA viruses including flavivirus vaccine candidates, antivirals, and associated animal models to better inform intervention testing.

Research Interests

  • Arbovirus pathogenesis, animal model development and vector competence evaluations
  • Arbovirus ecology, surveillance and viral discovery from arthropod and vertebrate systems
  • Phylodynamics and phylogeographic studies to understand arbovirus evolution and dispersal
  • Virus-virus and host-virus interactions to understand virus exclusion or emergence potential
  • Vaccine development for arboviruses and other RNA viruses

Publications Summary

  • 41 peer reviewed publications
  • 2 manuscripts currently undergoing peer review
  • 4 manuscripts in preparation

NCBI Bibliography available here

Selected Publications 

(* Indicates corresponding author)

Peer Reviewed

  1. Lopez K, Wilson SN, Coutermash-Ott S, Tanelus M, Stone WB, Porier DL, Auguste DI, Muller JA, Allicock OM, Paulson SL, Erasmus JH, Auguste AJ*. (2021). Novel murine models for studying Cache Valley virus pathogenesis and in utero transmission. Emerging Microbes & Infectioons, 10(1) 1649-1659 doi:10.1080/22221751.2021.1965497
  2. Wilson SN, Lopez K, Coutermash-Ott S, Auguste D, Porier DL, Armstrong PM, Andreadis TG, Eastwood G, Auguste AJ*. (2021). La Crosse Virus Shows Strain-Specific Differences in Pathogenesis. Pathogens, 10(4). doi:10.3390/pathogens10040400 
  3. Chaudhary S, Jain J, Kumar R, Shrinet J, Weaver S, Auguste AJ, & Sunil S. (2021). Chikungunya virus molecular evolution in India since its re-emergence in 2005. Virus Evolution, 7(2):veab074.
  4. Porier DL, Wilson SN, Auguste DI, Leber A, Coutermarsh-Ott S, Allen IC, Caswell CC, Budnick JA, Bassaganya-Riera J, Hontecillas R, Weger-Lucarelli J, Weaver SC, Auguste AJ*. (2021). Enemy of My Enemy: A Novel Insect-Specific Flavivirus Offers a Promising Platform for a Zika Virus Vaccine. Vaccines (Basel), 9(10),1142. 21 pages. doi:10.3390/vaccines9101142 
  5. Auguste AJ*, Langsjoen RM, Porier DL, Erasmus JH, Bergren NA, Bolling BG, et al. (2021). Isolation of a novel insect-specific flavivirus with immunomodulatory effects in vertebrate systems. Virology, 562, 50-62. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2021.07.004
  6. Adam A, Luo H, Osman SR, Wang B, Roundy CM, Auguste AJ, et al. Optimized production and immunogenicity of an insect virus-based chikungunya virus candidate vaccine in cell culture and animal models. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2021 Dec;10(1):305-316.
  7. Allicock OM, Sahadeo N, Lemey P, Auguste AJ, Suchard MA, Rambaut A, Carrington CVF. Determinants of dengue virus dispersal in the Americas. Virus Evol. 2020 Dec 2;6(2):veaa074.
  8. Chan KK, Auguste AJ, Brewster CC, Paulson SL. Vector competence of Virginia mosquitoes for Zika and Cache Valley viruses. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Apr 10;13(1):188. 
  9. Webb EM, Azar SR, Haller SL, Langsjoen RM, Cuthbert CE, Ramjag AT, Luo H, Plante K, Wang T, Simmons G, Carrington CVF, Weaver SC, Rossi SL, Auguste AJ*. Effects of Chikungunya virus immunity on Mayaro virus disease and epidemic potential. Nat Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 31;9(1):20399. 
  10. Kaelber JT, Jiang W, Weaver SC, Auguste AJ, Chiu W. Arrangement of the Polymerase Complexes inside a Nine-Segmented dsRNA Virus. (2020). Structure, 28(6), 604. doi:10.1016/j.str.2020.01.011 
  11. Tan Y, Tsan-Yuk Lam T, Heberlein-Larson LA, Smole SC, Auguste AJ, et al. Large-scale complete genome sequencing and phylodynamic analysis of eastern equine encephalitis virus reveal source-sink transmission dynamics in the United States. J Virol. 2018 Apr 4. pii: JVI.00074-18.
  12. Wertheim JO, Dugan VG, Auguste AJ, Lin D, Adams AP, Chen R, et al. Evolution and spread of Venezuelan equine encephalitis complex alphavirus in the Americas. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Aug 3;11(8):e0005693.
  13. Sahadeo NSD, Allicock OM, De Salazar PM, Auguste AJ, Widen S, Olowokure B, Gutierrez C, Valadere AM, Polson-Edwards K, Weaver SC, Carrington CVF. Understanding the evolution and spread of chikungunya virus in the Americas using complete genome sequences. Virus Evol. 2017 May 3;3(1):vex010.
  14. Langsjoen RM, Auguste AJ, Rossi SL, Roundy CM, Penate HN, Kastis M, Schnizlein MK, Le KC, Haller SL, Chen R, Watowich SJ, Weaver SC. Host oxidative folding pathways offer novel anti-chikungunya virus drug targets with broad spectrum potential. Antiviral Res. 2017 Jul;143:246-251.
  15. Langsjoen RM, Rubinstein RJ, Kautz TF, Auguste AJ, Erasmus JH, Kiaty-Figueroa L, et al. Molecular virologic and clinical characteristics of a chikungunya fever outbreak in La Romana, Dominican Republic. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Dec 28;10(12):e0005189.
  16. Erasmus JH, Auguste AJ, Kaelber JT, Luo H, Rossi SL, Fenton K, et al. A chikungunya fever vaccine utilizing an insect-specific virus platform. Nat Med. 2017 Feb;23(2):192-199.
  17. Ladner JT, Wiley MR, Beitzel B, Auguste AJ, Dupuis AP, Lindquist ME, et al. A multicomponent animal virus isolated from mosquitoes. Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Sep 14;20(3):357-367.
  18. Navarro JC, Giambalvo D, Hernandez R, Auguste AJ, et al. Isolation of Madre de Dios Virus (Orthobunyavirus; Bunyaviridae), an Oropouche virus species reassortant, from a monkey in Venezuela. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016. Pii 15-0679.
  19. Rossi SL, Tesh RB, Azar SR, Murato AE, Hanley KA, Auguste AJ, et al. Characterization of a novel murine model to study Zika virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016. 96(6)1362-9.
  20. Sahadeo N, Mohammed H, Allicock OM, Auguste AJ, Widen SG, Badal K, et al. Molecular Characterisation of Chikungunya Virus Infections in Trinidad and Comparison of Clinical and Laboratory Features with Dengue and Other Acute Febrile Cases. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Nov 18;9(11):e0004199.
  21. Auguste AJ, Liria J, Forrester NL, Giambalvo D, Moncada M, Long KC, et al. Evolutionary and Ecological Characterization of Mayaro Virus Strains Isolated during an Outbreak, Venezuela, 2010. Emerg Infect Dis 2015 Oct; 21(10): 1742-50
  22. Medina G, Garzaro DJ, Barrios M, Auguste AJ, Weaver SC, Pujol FH. Genetic diversity of Venezuelan alphaviruses and circulation of a venezuelan equine encephalitis virus subtype IAB strain during an interepizootic period. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Jul 8;93(1):7-10.
  23. Auguste AJ, Lemey P, Bergren NA, Giambalvo D, Moncada M, Moron D, et al. Enzootic maintenance of Yellow fever virus, Venezuela. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jan;21(1):99-102.
  24. Auguste AJ, Kaelber JT, Fokam EB, Guzman H, Carrington CV, Erasmus JH, et al. C A newly-isolated reovirus has the simplest genomic and structural organization of any reovirus. J Virol. 2015 Jan;89(1):676-87.
  25. Bergren NA, Auguste AJ, Forrester NL, Negi SS, Braun WA, Weaver SC. Western equine encephalitis virus: Evolutionary analysis of a declining alphavirus based on complete genome sequences. J Virol. 2014 (16):9260-7.
  26. Auguste AJ, Carrington CV, Forrester NL, Popov VL, Guzman H, Widen SG, et al. Characterization of a novel Negevirus and a novel Bunyavirus isolated from Culex (Culex) declarator mosquitoes in Trinidad. J Gen Virol. 2014 Feb;95(Pt 2):481-5.
  27. Thompson NN, Auguste AJ, Travassos da Rosa AP, Carrington CV, Blitvich BJ, Chadee DD, et al. Seroepidemiology of selected Alphaviruses and Flaviviruses in Bats in Trinidad. Zoonoses Public Health. doi: 10.1111/zph.12118
  28. Thompson NN, Auguste AJ, Coombs D, Blitvich BJ, Carrington CV, da Rosa AP, et al. Serological evidence of flaviviruses and alphaviruses in livestock and wildlife in Trinidad. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 Nov; 12(11):969-78.
  29. Carrington CV and Auguste AJ. Evolutionary and ecological factors underlying the tempo and distribution of yellow fever virus activity. Infect Genet Evol. 2013 Jan;13:198-210.
  30. Auguste AJ, Adams AP, Arrigo NC, Martinez R, Amelia P.A. Travassos Da Rosa, Adesiyun AA, et al. Isolation and Characterization of Sylvatic Mosquito-borne Viruses in Trinidad: Enzootic transmission and a new potential vector of Mucambo virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Dec;83:1262-5.
  31. Auguste AJ, Lemey P, Pybus OG, Suchard MA, Salas RA, Adesiyun AA, et al. Mechanisms of yellow fever virus maintenance in Trinidad and dispersal in the Americas. J Virol. 2010. Oct; 84(19): 9967-77.
  32. Auguste AJ, Volk SM, Arrigo NC, Martinez R, Thompson N, Ramkissoon V, et al. Isolation and Phylogenetic Characterization of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus subtype IIIA (Mucambo virus strain) in Trinidad. Virology. 2009 Sep 15; 392 (1): 123-30.
  33. Kim DY, Guzman H, Bueno R Jr, Dennett JA, Auguste AJ, Carrington CV, et al. Characterization of Culex Flavivirus (Flaviviridae) strains isolated from mosquitoes in the United States and Trinidad. Virology. 2009 Mar 30; 386 (1): 154-9.
  34. Auguste AJ, Pybus OG, Carrington CV. Evolution and dispersal of St. Louis encephalitis virus in the Americas. Infect Genet Evol. 2009 Jul; 9 (4): 709-15.
  35. Carrington CV, Foster JE, Zhu HC, Zhang JX, Smith GJ, Thompson N, Auguste AJ, et al. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of group 1 coronaviruses in South American bats. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Dec; 14 (12): 1890-3.

Research Advising

I currently supervise three (3) PhD and one (1) M.Sc. student, two of whom hold graduate research fellowships. I also mentor a research scientist.  I have served on eleven (11) graduate student thesis advisory committees at Virginia Tech, and supervised a dozen (12) undergraduate research projects. My lab’s recruitment efforts emphasize increasing diversity in STEM, and as such includes ~67% under-represented minorities.

Current Teaching Activity, Virginia Tech

  • 2018 – present      Writing and Professional Development in the Agricultural Sciences.

                            Lead instructor: Graduate level course

  • 2021 – present      Advanced Medical Entomology.

                            Lead instructor: Graduate level course

  • 2021 – present      CeZAP Distinguished seminar series.

                            Co-lead instructor: Graduate level course

  • 2020 – present      Immunity & Infectious Disease.

                            Guest instructor: Graduate level course

Honors & Awards

  • 2021 Faculty Senate Representative for the Dept of Entomology (elected).
  • 2020 Faculty Travel Grant for the Pan American Dengue Research Network
  • 2018 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Global Fellow
  • 2018 NIH K22 Career Development Award
  • 2014; 2016 McLaughlin Postdoctoral Research Awards. Awarded by University of Texas Medical Branch, for most outstanding postdoctoral research at the McLaughlin Colloquium (1/3 awards).
  • 2015 American Committee on Arthropod-borne Viruses Postdoctoral Trainee Councilor
  • 2014; 2015 Robert L. Harrison Award. Awarded from University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, for the most outstanding postdoctoral research in the Department (1/3 awards).
  • 2013 McLaughlin Postdoctoral Fellowship (research and salary support for the period 2013-2015)
  • 2011 Most Outstanding PhD researcher at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus (2008 - 2011) in the field of Science.
  • 2011 Robert E. Shope International Fellowship in Infectious Diseases (2011)
  • 2011 PhD thesis awarded with high commendation in Molecular Genetics, University of the West Indies, Trinidad
  • 2011 (Declined) American Society for Microbiology – Center for Disease Prevention and Control postdoctoral research fellowship in infectious diseases
  • 2007 University of the West Indies Postgraduate Scholarship